I've never been to the Howell Mountain Appellation located east of St. Helena in Napa but in meeting the folks from Villa Hermosa and tasting the wine, I must say I've put it on my well worn and dog-eared map of "wine-destinations" which I must visit before I pass on. Some folks have a "bucket-list" , my bucket is spilling over with must-see wine destinations like the spit bucket @ "Frass Canyon". So I am happy to say, the next time I am in the Napa area I want to make an effort to visit and meet the folks who call Howell Mountain home, like the wonderful owners of Villa Hermosa Cherie and Art Goulard who have crafted a brilliant representation of the Howell Mountain Cabernet.
Upon first Swirl: A beautiful deep garnet core, displaying freshness and fading to lighter colored rim.
Upon first Sniff: In the nose it exhibits ripe, vivid blackberry, wild plum and black cherry fruit, yet showing some maturity with mocha nuances.
Upon first Sip: What I would call a complex, faint leathery notes in this full-bodied, intensely flavored, decadent display of dark fruits melding with lithe minerality, appropriate tannins and very persistent display of fruit and sense of place which is long and lingering.
Weighing in: A total of 21 months in 100% French Oak, with the vines grown in the rich, volcanic soil, on a south-facing hillside 2,000 feet above the Napa Valley
Fruit: 100% Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon picked from three blocks. Alcohol13.3%
My Recommendation: This wine is very approachable now and will improve with age, since only 330 cases were produced, availability is limited. Meaning even @ $75.00 each a wine of this caliber won't last long. I was very impressed with the efforts. This is an excellent wine worthy of a 94 point score. So run, don't walk to their website to order yours today!
Wine Makers Notes: On the nose, this vintage has lush aromas of blackberry, blueberry, boysenberry preserves, and lilac with faint notes of juniper, white pepper, and truffle oil. The mouth opens with a warm velvety entry with lush berry and stone fruits. The full weight mid-palate leads to a lengthy, fruit finish.
Other voices: "...new faces that aim for the gold ring and could be the next cult wine..."— Mary Ann Worobiec, Wine Spectator Magazine
Until next time Cheers everyone!